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A BNSF train derailment in Minnesota on Thursday caused an evacuation in a small town after several of the train’s cars caught on fire.
The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the derailment happened at approximately 1:00 a.m. in the city of Raymond, which is in the southwestern portion of the county.
“Fire departments from Raymond and numerous area departments responded as several of the derailed tankers started on fire and were determined to be carrying a form of ethanol and others with a corn syrup liquid,” the statement said.
CNN reported that preliminary information suggests that approximately 14 of the train’s 40 cars were carrying the hazardous materials.
Law enforcement officials established an evacuation area of half a mile around the crash site.
“Residents were instructed to leave their homes and an emergency collection site for those with nowhere to go was established at the Central Minnesota Christian School building in nearby Prinsburg,” the statement said. “The site remains active as the fire is being contained, no travel is advised to the city of Raymond.”
Law enforcement officials later said that no injuries have been reported from the train derailment and that BNSF specialists are on scene.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg released a statement saying that the department was closely monitoring the situation.
“FRA is on the ground after a BNSF train carrying ethanol derailed early this morning, leading to an evacuation in the area of Raymond, MN,” Buttigieg said. “At present no injuries or fatalities have been reported. We are tracking closely as more details emerge and will be involved in investigation.”
FRA is on the ground after a BNSF train carrying ethanol derailed early this morning, leading to an evacuation in the area of Raymond, MN. At present no injuries or fatalities have been reported. We are tracking closely as more details emerge and will be involved in investigaton.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) March 30, 2023
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said that he was en route to the scene and that he had spoken to the Biden administration about the issue.
“I’ve been briefed on the situation unfolding in Raymond and I’m on my way to the site of the derailment now,” he tweeted. “Just got off the phone with @SecretaryPete and will be on the ground with local officials soon. The state stands ready to protect the health and safety of the community.”